The Antstand

The comfort of a laptop stand without the bulk

I have been working with my laptop all around Melbourne for sometime and this year I got tennis elbow. The reason for this is that working directly from a laptop is pretty bad for your body. Ideally you want to raise the screen and use a separate keyboard and mouse. Laptop stands are available but most are bulky and therefore not good for my mobile working.

Hence the Antstand.  A laptop stand that is tiny and strong, like an ant.

I origonally built it in cardboard and have been prototyping designs based on the original since October 2015. Now I have had a new prototype version build in metal. Below are pictures of the metal stand, you can see that in my slimline laptop case I can fit my macbook air, mousemat and Antstand. I have a stand for my mac without any noticeable extra bulk in my bag.

There is a website now up together with plans for the forthcomming crowdfunding campaign – see www.theantstand.com

Personal Productivity – Setting up your day for success

Making change requires work, work requires time and time is limited.

I am writing this post primarily to assist my friend Michael (who is new to personal productivity) but I also hope it will be useful for many people working on improving personal resilience in their lives.   I’ve been a practitioner of  “Getting Things Done”, a method of personal productivity from the book of the same name for about 4 years now.   I have written  on this subject  before on my page on personal productivity but this time I thought it might be useful to publish  how I set myself up to have a good productive day. The post will be brief as I have time boxed this activity to 30 minutes.

STEP 1 Review my todo lists

  • For personal todos I use and application called “Things”
  • For Shared todo’s I use “Remember the milk”
  • For work todo’s (which I use an A4 spiral bound book)

I’m at home and working on Personal todos. I review my todos in “Things” and write out the ones I want to do onto post its

Post Its

[Read more…]

Mind Control

mind_control

We are all under mind control

The only thing that varies from person to person is how much control we are under. The confused overwhelmed state of most people indicates that there is more mind control happening than we realize. As a result  many poor decisions are made that are not in our own best interests. We are bombarded daily with a birage of mind control techniques which makes it difficult to be immune to their effect.

There are practical steps however you can take to defend yourself from mind control and I will cover this in more depth in a future post. In the mean time a good first step would be to download and read the mental antivirus PDF which is a brief overview of common methods used to deceive. Then turn on the TV and see how many fallacies you can identify.  If your feeling keen then try the mental antivirus on your own views on a particular issue and see if you can identify fallacies in your own thinking (I think you’ll be surprised).

Mind control techniques have been around since the birth of language. Language is at the center of mind control which is why many great thinkers also study linguistics and and the history and derivation of language. It was after the first world war, however, that mind control as it is today was really perfected. Edward Bernays is looked as as being the father of PR (modern mind control) and responsible for many of the more sophisticated methods of mind control in use today.

The Stanley Parable
is genius. It is a game but not really, more like an artwork adventure through mind control. I have never experienced anything like it. I was sick recently and played the game inspired me to write this post. Enjoy the trailer – I recommend the game it is very,very clever ………and so is mind control

Documentaries on TV dumb you down

I believe the biggest threat to our world is not global warming, war, or poverty, it is an absence of critical thought.

To solve any problem it first requires the skills of critical thought. These are skills that most people do not use and when do try to apply critical thinking it is often faulty.

I have witten more about the problems people have with critical thinking here . Television, after public schooling, is a significant cause of this reduction in our abilities to think critically. The North Korean propaganda video below shows how corrupt and stupid western society is. They didn’t have to try very hard as its all there….on television.

[Read more…]

My Top 10 Books 2013

People that don’t read books are missing out.

I love books I also love consuming information through media such as podcasts. However books provide a method of learning complex topics in a way you cannot learn from other media. I wrote an article on the effect of media and critical though on the usethetrivium website.
[Read more…]

University is dead

I have been getting an education recently

It cost me nothing and was the most effecting teaching I have ever had.

I studied html5, CSS and php online with

  • Codecademy
  • Codehero

I learnt in 10 mins what took me 5 hours of elapsed time on a traditional course at a uni.

[Read more…]

Intellectual Self Defence & Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

This is not something our educational system or cuture seems to value. However nowadays we have access to more information than ever before, but at the same time we are more confused. This make developing critical thinking skills a higher priority for everyone. I covered problems and the causes of this problem in a previous blog post called “Education or Instruction?”. Poor critical thinking skills are so endemic that many people have lost confidence in their own ability to make decisions. Most people outsource the majority of their most important thinking to other people believing themselves incapable. I believe there’s huge room for improvement in most people , including myself and for this reason I was very excited when I came accross the Trivium and the Peace Revolution Podcast. Lacking in the ability and confidence to scrutinize information makes a person an easy target for scoundrels.  The Peace Revolution Podcast aims to provide information and tools to develop skills needed for  “intellectual self defence” by developing critical thinking skills.

 

The Trivium is one of those tools . Today the trivium is taught only in a small group of elite educational establishments.  The fundamentals  of the trivium are ancient, they were developed by  Aristotle. The Latin word “Trivium” means “from the three ways”

1. General Grammar (Answers the question of the Who, What, Where, and the When of a subject.) Discovering and ordering facts of reality comprises basic, systematic Knowledge

2. Formal Logic (Answers the Why of a subject.) Developing the faculty of reason in establishing valid [i.e., non-contradictory] relationships among facts, systematic Understanding

3. Classical Rhetoric (Provides the How of a subject.) Applying knowledge and understanding expressively comprises Wisdom or, in other words, it is systematically useable knowledge and understanding

Reference http://www.triviumeducation.com/

The mastery of the Trivium allows for an individual to quickly assimilate information, judge its quality and turn this information into wisdom. Wisdom being knowledge that has useful application. In studying the trivium Formal Logic is a good place to start as it deals with the identification of lies, which is something we are bombarded daily. Using Formal Logic to Identify fallacies   The study of Formal Logic helps understanding by rooting out contradictions and fallacies. Fallacies are not the same as lies they are information that is either deliberately or unknowingly misleading.  With the trivium you can you identify fallacies and also name the type of fallacy that is being perpetrated. For a list common fallacies that you could pop in your wallet see this Mental Antivirus checklist. To see some fallacies in action see below

I currently have the Mental Antivirus checklist in my wallet and have already brought some logical rigour to some pub conversations. I provided some friends a copy of the Mental Antivirus Checklist and found that using the common approach meant we had much more meaningful dialogue than normal.

Final thought

The word trivia is derived from  singular for the Trivium.  It is interesting how something so important has come stand for something so…………….trivial. I’d love know how you get on with the Trivium – Drop me line in the comments! Paul

Intellectual Self Defence & Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

This is not something our educational system or cuture seems to value. However nowadays we have access to more information than ever before, but at the same time we are more confused. This make developing critical thinking skills a higher priority for everyone. I covered problems and the causes of this problem in a previous blog post called “Education or Instruction?”. Poor critical thinking skills are so endemic that many people have lost confidence in their own ability to make decisions. Most people outsource the majority of their most important thinking to other people believing themselves incapable. I believe there’s huge room for improvement in most people , including myself and for this reason I was very excited when I came accross the Trivium and the Peace Revolution Podcast. Lacking in the ability and confidence to scrutinize information makes a person an easy target for scoundrels.  The Peace Revolution Podcast aims to provide information and tools to develop skills needed for  “intellectual self defence” by developing critical thinking skills.

 

The Trivium is one of those tools . Today the trivium is taught only in a small group of elite educational establishments.  The fundamentals  of the trivium are ancient, they were developed by  Aristotle. The Latin word “Trivium” means “from the three ways”

1. General Grammar (Answers the question of the Who, What, Where, and the When of a subject.) Discovering and ordering facts of reality comprises basic, systematic Knowledge

2. Formal Logic (Answers the Why of a subject.) Developing the faculty of reason in establishing valid [i.e., non-contradictory] relationships among facts, systematic Understanding

3. Classical Rhetoric (Provides the How of a subject.) Applying knowledge and understanding expressively comprises Wisdom or, in other words, it is systematically useable knowledge and understanding

Reference http://www.triviumeducation.com/

The mastery of the Trivium allows for an individual to quickly assimilate information, judge its quality and turn this information into wisdom. Wisdom being knowledge that has useful application. In studying the trivium Formal Logic is a good place to start as it deals with the identification of lies, which is something we are bombarded daily. Using Formal Logic to Identify fallacies   The study of Formal Logic helps understanding by rooting out contradictions and fallacies. Fallacies are not the same as lies they are information that is either deliberately or unknowingly misleading.  With the trivium you can you identify fallacies and also name the type of fallacy that is being perpetrated. For a list common fallacies that you could pop in your wallet see this Mental Antivirus checklist. To see some fallacies in action see below

I currently have the Mental Antivirus checklist in my wallet and have already brought some logical rigour to some pub conversations. I provided some friends a copy of the Mental Antivirus Checklist and found that using the common approach meant we had much more meaningful dialogue than normal.

Final thought

The word trivia is derived from  singular for the Trivium.  It is interesting how something so important has come stand for something so…………….trivial. I’d love know how you get on with the Trivium – Drop me line in the comments! Paul